Wondering where to stay in Porto? Not only is the city home to number 3 in our list of 9 of the best pousadas in Portugal, it has some of the country's finest hotels.
The information in this article is inspired by The Pocket Rough Guide Porto, your essential guide for visiting Porto.
Portugal was a new addition to the most beautiful countries in the world – voted by you in 2022 and its atmospheric second city, which sits on the Rio Douro, is well worth a few days or more to explore Vila Nova de Gaia wine lodges and wander the narrow streets and alleys.
Porto's centre is all about broad squares, neoclassical buildings and Baroque churches, but not all about history. You'll find hip cafés and restaurants and a thriving art scene. Much of the city has been restored so you can take your pick of good hotels in Porto.
But if you're wondering Porto versus Lisbon: which city to see first? Take a look at the best area to stay in Lisbon guide too.
Porto’s oldest streets lie below the Sé cathedral in the Sé district which is home to the Paço Episcopal. Igreja de Santa Clara and Igreja de Santo Ildefonso. It's also the area for São Bento station and if you want an eyeful of grand civic buildings, Aliados is the place for those.
Find more attractive options to stay in Sé and Aliados
With our tailor-made tour to Porto and the North of Portugal you have a chance to discover the most fascinating parts of Northern Portugal: go on a hike through unique biodiversity around the Paiva river, take a jeep tour through the slopes of the Serra da Arada and taste the wonderful wines of the Douro valley.
Ribeira is Porto's medieval heart where tall, colourful houses tumble down to the Douro and everything is designated a World Heritage site. Exploring is one of the best things to do in Portugal and the district has enormous appeal from its restaurants lining the riverbank to winding backstreets concealing historic buildings.
If you're looking for iconic photo opps head to double-decker Ponte Dom Luís I. The lower level is reserved for traffic, the Metro runs 60m above the River Douro on the upper level and pedestrians can walk either level to Vila Nova de Gaia.
Find more accommodation options to stay in Ribeira
If you are interested in culinary travel our tailor-made culinary trip to Portugal – cuisine and culture offers exceptional Portuguese cultural experiences. Taste port in a prestigious winery, savour exquisite codfish and picnic in the world's oldest wine region. Hilltop palaces, medieval old towns and glamorous beach resorts complete an unforgettable trip.
Porto's lively Baixa (downtown) district is where you'll find many of the city's most famous sights. You can't miss the magnificent tiled facade of Baroque Igreja do Carmo, Torre dos Clérigos and Porto University are here too.
Baixa is also the district for legendary Livraria Lello. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds at this now world famous bookshop, and if you want more useful advice take a look at our 20 essential Portugal travel tips for year round trips.
Vila Nova de Gaia is Port's birthplace and where Porto's first wine lodges were established in the 12th century. Today the district still dominates the riverfront and if you want an overview take a cable car ride across the Douro.
Tours of the smaller lodges tend to be more personal, but they're all informative without exception so expect to know your Tawny from Ruby by the end of any one of them. Plus the lodges are lovely and another reason why Porto is one of the most beautiful places in Portugal to visit.
The riverfront faces Ribeira and its long docks lined with cafés and restaurants. Cruise boats moor on the esplanade and historic Barcos Rabelos still ply their trade on the water, transporting wine casks downriver from Douro estates as they've done for centuries.
Masserelos is Porto's artistic district and home to Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis. Rua Miguel Bombarda is right at the heart of the area and if you want to see the city's creativity up close, this is where to browse excellent independent art galleries and visit craft workshops and ateliers.
Get to know the creative heart of the city like a local on an easy-going guided walking tour of Porto with wine tasting and snacks.
Take a city tram to Foz do Douro, with its attractive old town and sandy beach, it makes a great day trip or indeed a good seaside base for exploring Porto.
Although you wont find it on our 10 best beaches in Portugal list, Matosinhos Beach is fun and where locals go for seafood and clubbing and you'll find even more beaches an easy walk away at Leça da Palmeira.
Find more accommodation options to stay in Foz do Douro
Cedofeita is a favourite neighbourhood for many city dwellers. It combines traditional architecture with a more youthful vibe. New cafés and restaurants are opening, expanding the list of places to go in the evening and filling the streets of the area with life. The easy-going atmosphere of the area makes it perfect to stay in Porto for couples.
Casa da Música in Cedofeita, Porto © AdobeStock
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Our unforgettable tailor-made tour to the wines of Portugal will take you to Portugal's finest wine-producing regions, including the Douro Valley. Sample the finest local labels, and explore the exciting and stunningly beautiful cities of Lisbon and Porto, complemented by guided tours of their historical old towns.
The Bonfim area is situated in the east of Porto. The main attractions in the area are Church of The Lord of Bonfim - one of the most beautiful and majestic churches of the city of Porto, and Cemitério Prado do Repouso.
Find more accommodation options to stay in Bonfim
If you prefer to plan and book your trip to Porto without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.
Ready for a trip to Porto in Portugal? Check out the snapshot Pocket Rough Guide Porto or Pocket Rough Guide Lisbon. If you travel further in Portugal, read more about the best time to go, the best places to visit and best things to do in Portugal. For inspiration use the itineraries from The Rough Guide to Portugal and our local travel experts. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there.
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